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Dictionary Pronunciation Key


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 Houghton Mifflin

A list of the pronunciation symbols used in this Dictionary is given below in the column headed AHD. The column headed EXAMPLES contains words chosen to illustrate how the AHD symbols are pronounced. The letters that correspond in sound to the AHD symbols are shown in boldface. Although similar, the AHD and IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols are not precisely the same because they were conceived for different purposes.

EXAMPLESAHDEXAMPLESAHD
pat boot
pay out ou
care âr pop p
father ä roar r
bib b sauce s
church ch ship, dish sh
deed, milled d tight, stopped t
pet thinth
bee this th
fife, phase, rough fcut
gag g urge, term, firm, word, heard ûr
hat h valve v
which hw with w
pit yes y
pie, by zebra, xylem z
pier îr vision, pleasure, garage zh
judge j about, item, edible, gallop, circus
kick, cat, pique k butter r
lid, needle* l (nd'l)
mum m
no, sudden* n (sd'n)
thing ng
pot FOREIGN AHD
toe French feu, German schön
caught, paw, for, horrid, hoarse** ô French tu, German über ü
noise oi German ich, Scottish loch
took French bon (bô)***

*In English the consonants l and n often constitute complete syllables by themselves.

**Regional pronunciations of -or- vary. In pairs such as for, four; horse, hoarse; and morning, mourning, the vowel varies between (ô) and (). In this Dictionary these vowels are represented as follows: for (fôr), four (fôr, fr); horse (hôrs), hoarse (hôrs, hrs); and morning (môrning), mourning (môrning, mr-). Other words for which both forms are shown include more, glory, and borne. A similar variant occurs in words such as coral, forest, and horrid, where the pronunciation of o before r varies between (ô) and (). In these words the (ôr) pronunciation is given first: forest (fôrist, fr-).

***The Dictionary uses to reflect that the preceding vowel is nasalized.


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